- This page is about the canon character. For information about his home continuum, see DC Universe.
Batman is the nom de guerre of Bruce Wayne. He is a hero from the DC Universe, and one of the best known superheroes due to the various films, cartoons, comics, toys, video games, and TV shows that have been created since the character's creation in the late 1930s. Bruce Wayne was killed in "Final Crisis," but was replaced as Batman in the "Battle for the Cowl" storyline, in which a variety of characters (including members of Batman's "Rogues Gallery") fought for the right to be the new Batman.
Batman is a character with usually strictly defined moral and ethical codes regardless of the incarnation; he refuses to use a gun and will generally refuse to kill even his greatest and deadliest adversary, the Joker. His secret identity is closely guarded and in canon few people are aware that playboy millionaire Bruce Wayne is the Batman.
As a normal human in continua dominated by people with superpowers, Batman's greatest abilities lie not in his physical prowess but in his mental abilities; he is considered one of the world's greatest detectives, and generally has a plan for everything and anything, occasionally even when he doesn't believe that whatever he is planning for actually exists. He has also been shown to have plans to defeat Superman and the rest of the Justice League if needed, and carries kryptonite around (like practically everything in the DC-verse) just in case. He is also a highly skilled martial artist, and can easily defeat most non-superpowered villains, but places just as much emphasis on outwitting enemies as outfighting them. On the occasions a villain has actually beaten him in combat, he's usually figured out how to take them down by their next fight.
He usually has a variety of sidekicks and a large support team that includes, depending on the incarnation, a Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Oracle, Alfred, and the Outsiders. Not all continua that have Batman in them have all of these, or any given version of the characters involved, which can make the various DC continua very confusing.
Any occasion in a fic where Batman uses a gun, kills, has his identity well known to the public, or is easily discoverable by anyone can be considered a charge (unless it is particularly well written). It should be noted that his earliest incarnations were willing to use guns and kill people, but this didn't last long.